numberThe tenth edition of the Whitehall Monitor, an annual report that assesses the performance of the British civil service, the think tank notes the impact of the past year’s political turmoil on the civil service and the work of the executive branch.
In 2022, the UK will have three prime ministers, four finance ministers and a record number of resignations within government.
In total, 37 resignations of ministers, not counting government reshuffles, and 66 appointments have been recorded in 2023, more than double the normal rate since at least the 1990s, said co-author Rhys Klein at an event to launch the document, today in London. .
He stressed that this “led to disturbances, doubts, delays and setbacks” in the work of the executive branch as well as in the state of mind of public servants.
“We know that morale has been declining for two years, contrary to the long-term positive trend, and one of the contributing factors, as you would expect, is dissatisfaction with wages,” Klein said.
In addition to the loss of purchases due to inflation that exceeded 10% last year, civil service salaries have suffered real cuts of 12% in the lower brackets and 23% in the upper brackets since 2010.
This makes containing wages even more difficult, as evidenced by the strike planned for tomorrow [quarta-feira]Klein said.
About 100,000 civil servants from the Ministries of Health, Environment and Economy are expected to join a strike to demand better salaries, pensions and termination conditions, according to the Confederation of Public and Commercial Services (PCS).
The strike will also mobilize teachers, transport workers and border guards, with new strikes by nurses, doctors, ambulance staff and firefighters expected in the coming weeks.
The government has so far avoided committing itself to higher wages in the civil service, and has called for restraint to bring down inflation, despite strikes by transport, health and education workers.
The result, Klein explained, is a salary level far below that of the private sector, leading to significant job rotation in the civil service.
On the same occasion, the former Secretary-General of the Ministry of Health, Una O’Brien, confirmed that “morale has taken a big hit,” recalling the dismissal of the Secretary-General of the Ministry of Finance, Tom Scholar, last year.
This person in charge was abruptly removed by then Finance Minister Kwasi Kwarting as part of the new anti-dogma policy announced by Prime Minister Liz Truss.
Chris Smith, The Times’ politics editor, agreed that political instability “has taken a toll” on civil servants, particularly in ministries centered in Westminster, London, in a series of buildings known as Whitehall.
“If their job is to make and implement policies, if those policies keep changing every few months and moving in different directions, or if the government is too busy fighting each other to make important decisions, it can be very frustrating,” he said.
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